Boulder County’s newest trail rides high above Nederland — and it’s not even in Boulder County! The trail through the privately owned Tolland Ranch was made possible through direct BMA advocacy that resulted in a recreation easement acquired by Boulder County Parks & Open Space, along with a conservation easement (we wrote about this back on January 30, 2020). A bit of trivia, the majority of Tolland Ranch and all of the trail are in Gilpin County.
BMA visited the site on September 22, 2023 with Boulder County Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee, here’s what you need to know.
So, what IS the name of the trail?
This trail is currently unnamed. Boulder County is working with an indigenous peoples’ committee to find a name that reflects the area’s native history. For now, “The trail through Tolland Ranch” is appropriate.
Can I access the trail through Eldora?
No, the trail is accessible from West Magnolia and there is no access from or through Eldora at this time. The USFS still needs to complete a NEPA analysis to connect the trail to Jenny Creek Road.
Are there any seasonal closures?
The trail will be closed during the winter months that the Eldora Nordic Center is in operation.
What access is allowed?
The trail is designated for non-motorized and is open to hikers, trail runners, equestrians and mountain bikers. Motorized traffic, including motorcycles, is not allowed.
Sounds great, what are the trail details?
The trail is 4.8 miles long and has 440′ of elevation gain east to west and 690′ west to east.
What’s the best way to get there?
We put together a suggested route starting at the Observatory trailhead, heading up Rocks & Roots, out-and-back on the trail through Tolland, then down Schoolbus. You’ll be looking a solid backcountry ride of 17.5 miles and 2,255′ of elevation gain. There’s a worthwhile view at the highpoint of the trail about 2.3 miles in from West Mag. Turning around here saves 6 miles and 690′ of climbing.
Click on the image below to see full gallery from 9/22/2023 site visit